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Aussie cystic fibrosis drug set for Russia

AAP logoAAP 27/09/2016

Shares in Pharmaxis have soared more than seven per cent after the Australian pharmaceutical research firm announced it will start selling its cystic fibrosis drug in Russia.

The drug Bronchitol had been approved for marketing in Russia following new Russian laws that provide patients access to innovative medicines, Pharmaxis announced to the ASX on Tuesday.

Bronchitol will be manufactured and exported to Russia from Pharmaxis' Sydney factory with the first sales expected before the end of 2016.

Chief executive Gary Phillips said the Russian market for cystic fibrosis (CF) drugs was worth about about $US29 million ($A38 million) last year and would the company's largest market so far.

"We have successfully translated an Australian clinical discovery into an approved therapy for patients in the European Union, Australia and now Russia," Mr Phillips said in a statement.

There is no cure for CF, a life-threatening genetic disorder where sufferers' mucus glands secrete thick mucus that clogs air passages in the lungs, traps bacteria and causes infections.

Bronchitol, inhaled from a small handheld device, helps sufferers cough and clear the airways of mucus.

Clinical trials have shown that Bronchitol helps improve lung function and the quality of life of people living with cystic fibrosis, the company's website says.

Bronchitol is already sold in Europe and Australia and the company is working on regulatory approval to sell it in the US.

Shares in Pharmaxis had jumped 7.55 per cent, or two cents, to 28.5 cents by 1128 AEST.

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